This is the age of gender equality that extends to skin care and personal grooming as well. Skin care is no more a woman’s domain alone as the modern man has made his mark and urban society validates him as a metro sexual man. A metro sexual man is one who takes good care of his appearance by paying attention to the fine nuances of fashion, new trends apart from taking lot of interest and care for his skin. So let’s have a peek on what men skin care routine is all about.
A man’s skin is very different from a woman’s skin as it is thicker and since it contains more connective tissues (collagen and elastin) it is more firm and resilient. Men have oilier skin and larger pores which make their skin prone to acne as pores get clogged with sebum and grime. Since men generally have a regular routine of shaving their face, the skin undergoes extra stress which can result in irritation, dryness and sensitivity. Ingrown hairs and razor bumps are quite common too. A skin care routine needs to be in place for men too starting from the basics.
Since men have twenty percent oilier skin than women and have larger pores which make them prone to eruptions, a good cleanser is vital as a starter. Face wash or liquid cleansers are not meant for women only but are for men too and using them does not make you less of a man.
Soap bars can have a drying effect on your skin, especially if you have a dry skin type though there are certain soap bars which have moisturizing ingredients and are as effective. An effective cleanser would be one with glycolic acid or lactic acid, salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide as they have exfoliating properties for deep pore cleaning along with antibacterial properties.
Men need to keep their skin moisturized especially as shaving tends to make the skin dry. Moisturizing your skin would vary from one skin type to another, while oily skin types can give a miss to moisturizer and instead use a toner; dry skin would need a heavy duty moisturizer. Normal skin can use a lighter moisturizer. Moisturizer with an alpha-hydroxy acid such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid aids in betterment of skin’s tone and quality.
Sun protection is another vital skin and health care measure which should not be ignored at any cost. Over exposure to sun rays not only damages the skin but also poses a risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen with adequate SPF protection should be used and reapplication of it should be done according to label’s instructions. Sunscreens which block both UVA and UVB rays with a SPF 30 can be used. Other steps of sun protection include appropriate clothing and sunglasses.
The right way of shaving
Shaving is a task for majority of the men and becomes more tasking when accompanied with cuts or razor bumps due to ingrown hairs. If shaving is irritating your skin your razor might be the culprit. Both electric and manual razor have their pros and cons and one must evaluate their benefits before using them. Manual razors
Give a closer shave as the blades reach nearer to the skin which can also lead to skin irritation.Electric razor can be used if you have frequent razor bumps as it does not give a close shave but can equally be irritating to the skin as it “pulls” the hair. Use what works for you. Various shaving products are available in the market to follow your shaving regime of cleanse, pre-shave, shaving, toning and moisturizing. To get an irritation-free skin after shaving, use a face wash first followed by pre-shave oil which protects your facial skin by softening your beard and enabling a close shave. After shaving your beard, an after care routine of toning up with an after-shave and light moisturizing is essential. Alcohol-based aftershaves should be avoided. Apply an aloe vera based lotion or a soothing aftershave with vitamin E to calm irritated skin.
Shaving creams with glycolic acid works as an exfoliating agent which helps in sloughing off dead skin cells and enabling smoother shave. Shaving in the direction of hair growth is recommended as compared to against the grain as it can lead to skin irritation. An alcohol-free toner or astringent should be used especially for oily skin as it contracts skin pores and firms up the skin helping in rejuvenation of skin without affecting the ph balance.
Preventing jock itch
A skin problem which men face around the groin area can be quite upsetting. Groin rash or jock itch can be itchy accompanied with red inflammation. It happens to men who sweat a lot and the same fungus which causes athlete’s foot is the cause for jock itch
You can prevent jock itch by maintaining general hygiene which includes daily bathing, changing your inners frequently if you sweat a lot and keeping the groin area dry. Do not share your personals and wear breathable fabrics. Any over-the-counter anti-fungal medication will work.
Inculcate personal grooming habits
Certain personal grooming habits can be inculcated by men in their skin care regime if not weekly but monthly. Taking care of their nails, hands and feet is equally important as not only do they reflect a person’s attention to details but personal hygiene too. Manicures and pedicures are not a feminine activity anymore as men understand or need to understand about their good grooming habits.
Dirty uneven fingernails can be extremely repulsive and unhygienic for general wellbeing. Stinky feet with dry skin, calluses and discoloured nails can never be attractive. So, manicures and pedicures are as much as a part of man’s grooming as a woman’s as they are ideal to maintain a pleasing physical appearance as well as overall hygiene.
Well-kept and clean hands are not only attractive but are a key to good health too, as most infections are spread via dirty hands.
Taking care of your hands
Taking care of your hands is not tough and a daily simple routine of hand wash and moisturizing is enough with trimming of nails as when needed. Soap bars and liquid cleansers are equally good to keep your hands clean but make sure to scrub your nails and fingers so no dirt is under your nails. Fingernail brushes are also available in the markets which clean all dirt from both, above and underneath your nails.
Trimming your fingernails every fortnight is a good habit but be careful while doing so, as not to cut cuticles which protect nail beds, instead follow the natural curve of your nails. Nails that are trimmed properly reduce chances of ingrown nails or hangnails which can be painful. Moisturize your nails after trimming to prevent them from weakening.
Hands can show signs of ageing by developing pigmentation hence along with moisturizing follow up with a sunscreen to protect your hands from damage. Hands get dry when they are washed with soaps so moisturizing is essential to prevent skin from drying and cracking. Other than following the above measures for good skin care of hands, a manicure every month is not a bad idea as it will not only pamper you but also improve your overall appearance and hygiene.
Taking care of your feet
Caring for your feet is ignored by many unless a serious problem arises in form of athlete’s foot or painful corns or even perennial stinky feet! Trimming of toe-nails should be done carefully as trimming too close to skin may lead to infections. Improper trimming of toe-nails can lead to painful hangnails or ingrown toe-nails.
Calluses and corns develop on the feet either due to ill-fitted shoes or faulty walking style. If they are not extremely hard they can be removed at home by soaking your feet in lukewarm water and scrubbing them with a pumice stone.
Hardened corns might need medical attention. Foot hygiene is important to keep fungal infections at bay. Washing and drying your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes is important. If you suffer from sweaty feet, use a medicated powder and wear fresh socks everyday to avoid fungal infections. Chronic stinky feet can be a bacterial infection which needs to be shown to a doctor.
Pedicure can be an answer to feet care as it avoids any complications related to feet while keeping it presentable. Pedicure removes dead skin from the feet, prevents ingrown toe-nails and gets rid of calluses and corns. Also stinky feet can find its cure in a pedicure!
The metro sexual man does not cringe to the thought of getting a facial as it is a skin care routine for him. You can go to your nearest men salon and get a facial done according to your skin type. Various skin problems such as blackheads, blemishes and pigmented skin can find solutions in customized facials.
Since many men have oily skin, a cleansing mask can help prevent oiliness while a dry skin type can do well with a hydrating mask. Any problem areas of facial skin can be dealt with a facial, so go try one today!
Caring for your skin can be done at home. However, professional help can work wonders for your skin. It does not matter if you are a man or woman, as looking good is what everyone deserves. Caring for your skin is not about vanity alone but good health too.